October 30 - November 2, 2018 Firearms, Militaria, & Sporting
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/30/2018
This historically significant and important Colt Berdan rifle conversion , serial number "1" is the center of discussion in the treatise "BREAKING INTO BREECHLOADING THE COLT-BERDAN TRAPDOOR" by Robert Swartz. Documented as being serial number "1" and the first center fire rifle produced by Colt's Manufacturing. Hiram Berdan in collaboration with the Colt factory designed and produced this prototype example for the Russian government. The Russians were already determined to use Berdan's new central-fire cartridge and wanted 25000 rifles produced using a proposed trapdoor design. With great efforts to avoid the current patent issues of the trapdoor conversions as well as other patents Berdan and the new Vice President of Colt General William Franklin worked closely together and called the design "THE BOLT GUN". This was challenged by patent attorney Henry Resnick. Another design change was implemented and the Colt Trapdoor Berdan Russian rifle was born. To carry on the tradition of Colt's famed showmanship this 1 of 1 was built with burled walnut stock with a pewter forend tip and white metal semi-crescent schuetzen butt and ornate schuetzen trigger guard. Masterfully engraved by Augustus F. Ulrich the master engraver for Colt's armory. This rifle was featured on the cover of the "TEXAS GUN COLLECTOR' in the spring of 2017. This rifle is further documented in Roy Marcots fine book "Hiram Berdan" on page 183. This rifle is serial numbered "1" in numerous locations including the trigger guard, back of butt plate, on breech, breech plug, and breech block. Originally manufactured with a 28 inch barrel in 45 CAL, and later modified in 1871 to 40 CAL, with a 26 1/2 inch barrel. This important Colt rifle serial number one is the birthplace of all the cartridge long arms to follow in the great Colt history. CONDITION. Extremely fine with most all original factory applied finishes remaining. The highly figured burl walnut stock retains most all of its oil finish with several very minor bruises and dents. The bore is bright and shiny with sharp rifling. The action is crisp and properly functioning. This rifle is complete with a wonderful compendium of educational and instructional material suitable for museum display. This includes books, cartridge displays, and full color display boards. A rare opportunity to own a truly most historic Colt firearm. CORRECTION: Previously, the description erroneously stated that this rifle is a conversion. This rifle was Factory manufactured as the very first Colt Berdan.
Display Materials
Barrel Length
26 - 1/2"
FFL Status
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $33,000.00
Estimate: $50,000 - $75,000
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Friday, November 2, 2018.
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